Citizens Charters by xuyuzhu


									    Citizens Charters- A Handbook

                      A Publication of the Government of India

                    Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions

    Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances

                               New Delhi, India


The Citizens Charters : Indian Experience                                     1

 Basic Concept, Origin and Principles

 The International Scene

 The Indian Scene

 Comprehensive Website on Citizen’s Charter

 Exemplary Implementation of the Citizen’s Charter

 Evaluation of Citizens Charter

 Compendium on Citizens Charters in Government of India

 Regional Seminars

 Capacity-Building workshops

 Department-Specific Workshops

 Information and Facilitation Counters(IFCs)

 Problems faced in Implementing the Charters

 Lessons Learnt

  Future Vision: Development of Charter Mark
Formulation of Citizens Charter                                             9
Rationale of a Citizens Charter

Components of a Citizens Charter

Formulation of Citizens Charters: A Road Map

Citizens Charters-Model Guidelines

Citizens Charters-General Structure Guidelines

Dos and Don’ts for Implementing the Charters

What Makes a Good Charters

Things to Remember

A Model Format for Citizen’s Charter
Duties and Responsibilities of Nodal Officers                                       14

Duties and Responsibilities of Nodal Officers of Citizen’s charter in
Central/State Governments/Ministries/ Departments/Public Sector
Undertakings/Organisations for Formulation and Implementation of Citizen’s
Evaluation and Review of Citizen’s Charters                                         16

Need to Evaluate, Monitor and Review

External Evaluation of Citizen’ Charter

Check List for Citizens Charter

Citizens Charter Assessment Parameters

Evaluation, Monitoring and Review of Charters A Summary charter              Mark


          Effective Complaints Handling                                                  23

Designing and Implementing Effective Complaints Handling Systems

Basic Steps for Effective Complaints Management
Information and Facilitation Counters (IFC)                                      28


Salient Features

Duties and Responsibilities of the Contact Officers of IFCs
How to make the Charters a Success                                               31

Lessons Learned in Quality Assurance from Examples Worldwide

Citizens Charter-A Trouble-Shooting Guide
Citizens Charters : Some Best Practices                                          34

Regional Transport Office, Hyderabad

Jan Sewa Kendra, Ahmedabad

Bureaucratic Transformation : A Case Study of the UK Passport Office Chennai
Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Chennai Citizen’s Charter in all
Municipalities/Corporations in Tamil Nadu Citizens Charter of Hyderabad
Metroplitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board
List of Websites and Suggested Readings                                          40

National Sites


International Sites

Online Readings
Appendix 1       Citizen’s Charter: An Charter                                   43

Appendix 2       A Model Citizen’s Charter                                       44

                   Feedback Form for Use by Departments
Appendix 3       Citizen’s Charter Score Card                                    45
    Appendix 4      Citizen’s Charter Survey A Model Form for      Conducting                  46

                      a Survey


Basic Concept, Origin and Principles

It has been recognised the world over that good governance is essential for
sustainable development, both economic and social. The three essential aspects
emphasised in good governance are transparency, accountability and responsiveness of
the administration. The Citizen’s Charters initiative is a response to the quest for solving
the problems which a citizen encounters, day in and day out, while dealing with
organisations providing public services.

The concept of Citizen’s Charter enshrines the trust between the service provider and its
users. The concept was first articulated and implemented in the United Kingdom by the
Conservative Government of John Major in 1991 as a national programme with a simple
aim: to continuously improve the quality of public services for the people of the country
so that these services respond to the needs and wishes of the users. The programme
was re-launched in 1998 by the Labour Government of Tony Blair which rechristened it
Services First.

The basic objective of the Citizen’s Charter is to empower the citizen in relation to public
service delivery. The six principles of the Citizen’s Charter movement as originally
framed were:
      (i)    Quality: Improving the quality of services;
      (ii)   Choice: Wherever possible;
      (iii)   Standards: Specifying what to expect and how to act if standards are not
     (iv)    Value : For the taxpayers’    money;
     (v)     Accountability: Individuals and Organisations; and
     (vi)    Transparency: Rules/Procedures/Schemes/Grievances.

These were later elaborated by the Labour Government as the nine principles of Service
Delivery (1998), which are as follows:-
     i.       Set standards of service;
     ii.     Be open and provide full information;
     iii.    Consult and involve;
     iv.     Encourage access and the promotion of choice;
     v.       Treat all fairly;
     vi.     Put things right when they go wrong;
     vii.    Use resources effectively;
     viii.   Innovate and improve;
     ix.      Work with other providers.

The International Scene
The UK’s Citizen’s Charter initiative aroused considerable interest around the world and
several countries implemented similar programmes e.g., Australia (Service Charter,
1997), Belgium (Public Service Users’ Charter 1992), Canada (Service
Standards Initiative, 1995), France (Service Charter, 1992), India (Citizen’s Charter,
1997), Jamaica (Citizen’s Charter 1994), Malaysia (Client Charter, 1993), Portugal (The
Quality Charter in Public Services, 1993), and Spain(The Quality Observatory, 1992).

Some of these initiatives are very similar to the UK model, whereas others break new
ground by leaning on the service quality paradigm of the Total Quality Management
(TQM) movement. Some other initiatives are pitched somewhere in between. Even in the
UK, in the context of the Next Steps / Modernising Government Initiatives, Citizen’s
Charters have acquired a service quality face for delivery of public services. The quality
tools adopted for improving public services include the Business Excellence Model,
Investors in People, Charter Mark, ISO 9000 and Best Value (Government of UK, 1999).

The Government of Malaysia issued Guidelines on the Client’s Charter in 1993 to assist
government agencies to prepare and implement Client’s Charter, which is a written
commitment by an agency to deliver outputs or services according to specified standards
of quality (Government of Malaysia, 1998). A Best Client’s Charter Award was instituted
in 1993. The Malaysian system of Client’s Charter closely follows the UK Model. A
distinction is made, however, between agency-wide and unit charters. The concept of
service recovery enjoins taking steps to restore the trust and confidence of the client in a
proactive manner when things go wrong.

The Commonwealth Government of Australia launched its Service Charter
Initiative in 1997 as part of its on-going commitment to improve the quality of service
provided by agencies to the Australian community by moving the government
organisation away from bureaucratic processes to customer-focused outcomes. Service
Charters are considered a powerful tool for fostering change and require the
organisation to focus on services delivered, to measure and assess performance, and to
initiate performance improvement. By providing goals for agencies to strive towards, a
Charter acts as a surrogate for competition where none exists (Department of Finance
and Administration, 1999). Centrelink is a one-stop shop that provides
access to Australian government services for over six million customers. Centrelink has
adopted one-to-one service as an innovative and personalised approach to service
delivery. One-to-one service treats customers with respect and consistency
and takes the complexity out of dealing with government.

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat started a Service Standard Initiative in 1995
which took its cue from the Citizen’s Charters of the United Kingdom, but
enlarged the scope considerably. This Service Standard Initiative in Canada was started
against the backdrop of citizen expectations relating to friendly, respectful and courteous
service; faster response times; extended hours at government offices; and one-stop-
shopping. At the same time there was a need to reduce the deficit and provide value for
money through more efficient use of resources (Treasury Board of Canada, 1995).

A perusal of these four major Citizen’s Charter initiatives shows that the service quality
approach is embedded in all of them in different degrees. Once a decision is taken to
make public services citizen-centric, the customer focus of the Total Quality Management
(TQM) variety cannot be far behind. In fact, the Citizen’s Charter approach has several
things in common with TQM. Both begin by focusing on meeting
customer/citizen requirements. Other key common elements are conformance
to standards, stakeholder involvement and continuous improvement.
The Indian Scenario

Over the years, in India, significant progress has been made in the field of economic
development. This, along with a substantial increase in the literacy rate, (from 51.63%
to 65.38% in the last decade) has made Indian citizens increasingly aware of their
rights. Citizens have become more articulate and expect the administration not merely
to respond to their demands but also to anticipate them. It was in this climate that a
consensus began to evolve, since 1996, in the Government on effective and
responsive administration. At a Conference of Chief Ministers of various States and
Union Territories held on 24 May, 1997 in New Delhi, presided over by the
Prime Minister of India, an Action Plan for Effective and Responsive
Government at the Centre and State levels was adopted. One of the major decisions
at that Conference was that the Central and State Governments would formulate
Citizen’s Charters, starting with those sectors that have a large public interface (e.g.,
Railways, Telecom, Posts, Public Distribution Systems and the like). These Charters were
to include first, standards of service as well as the time limits that the public can
reasonably expect for service delivery, avenues of grievance redressal and a provision
for independent scrutiny through the involvement of citizen and consumer groups.

The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances in Government of
India (DARPG) initiated the task of coordinating, formulating and
operationalising Citizen’s Charters. The guidelines for formulating the Charters as well
as a list of do’s and don’ts were communicated to various government
departments/organisations to enable them to bring out focused and effective charters.
For the formulation of the Charters, the government agencies at the Centre and State
levels were advised to constitute a task force with representation from users, senior
management and the cutting edge staff.

The Charters are expected to incorporate the following elements :-

     (i)     Vision and Mission Statements;
     (ii)    Details of business transacted by the organisation;
     (iii)   Details of clients;
     (iv)    Details of services provided to each client group;
     (v)     Details of grievance redressal mechanism and how to access it; and
     (vi)    Expectations from the clients.

Primarily an adaptation of the UK model, the Indian Citizen’s Charter has an additional
component of expectations from the clients or in other words obligations of the users.
Involvement of consumer organisations, citizen groups, and other stakeholders
in the formulation of the Citizen’s Charter is emphasised to ensure that the Citizen’s
Charter meets the needs of the users. Regular monitoring, review and
evaluation of the Charters, both internally and through external agencies has been

As on March, 2005, 107 Citizen’s Charters had been formulated by the
Central Government Ministries/Departments/Organisations and 629 Charters
by various agencies of State Governments & Administrations of Union Territories. Most
of the national Charters are posted on the government’s websites and are open to public
scrutiny. The organisations with Citizen’s Charters have been advised to give publicity to
their Charters through such means as print/electronic media and awareness campaigns.
Website on Citizen’s Charters

A comprehensive website on Citizen’s Charters in Government of India
( has been developed and was launched by the Department of
Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances on 31 May, 2002. This contains the
Citizen’s     Charters      issued      by      various      Central       Government
Ministries/Departments/Organisations. The website provides useful information, data and

Exemplary implementation of the Citizen’s Charter

Even as the overall efforts and initiatives of the government on Citizens Charter were on,
it was realised that exemplary implementation of a Charter in a major public interface
area of government would not only establish a new concept in the inertia-prone
bureaucracy, but also act as a role model for replication in other sectors/areas.
The banking sector was identified for this purpose keeping in view the second phase of
economic reforms and the fact that this sector was fairly advanced in terms of customer
service and was also taking advantage of information technology to speed up various
processes. The primary objective of this exercise was to build the Banking Sector as a
model of excellence in the implementation of a Citizens Charter

To begin with, three major National level Banks, namely, Punjab National Bank, Punjab
and Sind Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce, were selected for a hand-holding
exercise by the DARPG in the year 2000. The following key issues were
highlighted for exemplary implementation of their Citizens Charters:-

     (i)     Stakeholder involvement in the formulation of Citizens Charters;
     (ii)      Deployment of Citizens Charters in the Banks by full involvement of the
             staff, specially the employees at the cutting-edge level;
     (iii)    Creation of awareness about the Charters amongst the customers of the
             Banks; and
     (iv)      Special training for employees at all levels about the concept and
             implementation of a Citizens Charter.

After an evaluation of the current status of the Charters by the identified banks through
independent agencies, Action Plans were chalked out to rectify shortcomings. The
Charters were, accordingly, revised and standardised on the basis of the model/ mother
Charter developed by the Indian Banks Association (IBA). Training for
employees of selected branches through master trainers, trained by the
National Institute of Bank Management using a module developed in
consultation with DARPG was organised. Several measures to give wide
publicity to Citizens Charter were also undertaken.

An external agency was engaged to reassess and reevaluate the implementation of
Citizens Charter of these banks and at the end of this exercise also to document the
hand-holding Exercise. The National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM) was assigned
this task, which was executed and a document about the exercise was brought out in the
Year 2003.

Evaluation of Citizens Charters

An evaluation of the Citizens Charters of various government agencies was carried out
by DARPG and Consumer Coordination Council, New Delhi, an NGO, in October 1998.
The results were quite encouraging given the nascent stage of this initiative in
India. A brief questionnaire has been circulated to all Ministries/Departments and State
Governments/Union Territories to enable them to undertake an in-house evaluation of
their Citizens Charters. These organisations were also advised to undertake
external evaluations, preferably through NGOs.

During the Year 2002-03, DARPG engaged a professional agency to develop a
standardised model for internal and external evaluation of Citizens Charters in a more
effective, quantifiable and objective manner. This agency also carried out evaluation of
implementation of Charters in 5 Central Government Organisations and 15
Departments/Organisations of States of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and
Uttar Pradesh. This Agency was also required to suggest methods for increasing
awareness, both within the organisation and among the users, and to suggest possible
methods for orientation of management and the staff in the task of formulating and
deploying Charters.

The major findings of the evaluation carried out by the agency, as stated I its report

     (i)      In majority of cases Charters were not formulated through a consultative
     (ii)      By and large service providers are not                familiar   with   the
             philosophy, goals and main features of the Charter;
     (iii)     In none of the departments evaluated, had adequate publicity
             been given to the Charters. In most Departments, the Charters were only
             in the early stages of implementation;
     (iv)     No funds were specifically earmarked for awareness generation on Citizens
             Charter or for orientation of the staff on various components of the Charter.

Further, the key recommendations in the report, inter alia, stressed upon:-

     (i)      The need for citizens and staff to be consulted at every stage of formulation
             of the Charter;

     (ii)      Orientation of staff about the salient features and goals/objectives of the
             Charter; vision and mission statement of the department; and skills such as
             team building, problem solving, handling of grievances and communication

     (iii)    The need for creation of database on consumer grievances and redress;

     (iv)      The need for wider publicity of the Charter through print media, posters,
             banners, leaflets, handbills, brochures, local newspapers etc. and
             also through electronic media;

     (v)      Earmarking of specific budgets for awareness generation and orientation of
             staff, and

     (vi)     Replication of best practices in this field.

Compendium on Citizens Charters in Government of India

With the objective of generating awareness among the citizens as well as government
functionaries about the commitments of various organisations enshrined in their
Citizen�s Charter, the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances
brought out a Compendium of abridged versions of all Citizens Charters in Government
of India in a book as well as in CD form on 14 May, 2003. The Compendium contains the
operative standards and quality of services proposed to be provided as also the public
grievance redressal mechanism as committed in the Citizens Charters. It also contains
the name, address, telephone number, e-mail address etc. of nodal officers for Citizens
Charters in Central Government Ministries/Departments/Organisations and also the list
of website addresses of Ministry/Department/Organisation concerned.

The Compendium is not only useful for the citizens for ready reference, but also enables
them to critically review the functioning of these organisations. It would also help the
organisations to compare the standards set by them, vis-vis, those set by other

Regional Seminars

Four Regional Seminars on Citizens Charters were organised during the year 2001-02,
with a view to bring national and state level organisations along with other stakeholders
including NGOs, intelligentsia, media etc. on the same platform and to share
experiences in formulation and implementation of Citizens Charter. These
seminars were organised at Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad,
Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, R. C. V. P. Noronha
Academy of Administration, Bhopal and Assam Administrative Staff College, Guwahati.
In all 24 State Governments/UT Administrations and 15 Central Government
Departments/Organisations participated.

Capacity-Building Workshops

On the basis of the feedback received and experience gained in these seminars, it was
decided to organise separate Capacity-Building Workshops with specific focus on:

     (i)     Formulation of Charter;
     (ii)      Effective implementation of Charter; and
     (iii)    Enhancing the capacity of trainers available at State Administrative Training
             Institutes/Central Civil Services Staff Colleges.

During the year 2002-03, three Capacity Building Workshops on formulation and
implementation of Citizens Charters were organised at H.P. Institute of Public
Administration, Shimla (HP), R.C.V.P. Noronha Academy of Administration, Bhopal and
Yeshwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration, Pune, Indian
Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi. Besides, a Capacity Building
Workshop for developing Trainers and Training Modules on Citizens Charter was
organised at Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi in December, 2002. In
all,   15     States/UT      Administrations       and    5    Central    Government
Departments/Organisations participated.

During the year 2003-04, four Capacity Building Workshops on formulation of Citizens
Charter were organised at Administrative Training Institute, Kolkata,
Administrative Training Institute, Nainital, HCM Rajasthan State Institute of Public
Administration, Jaipur and Administrative Training Institute, Mysore. Two Capacity
Building Workshops on Citizens Charter for Developing Trainers and Training
Programmes were also conducted during 2003-04 at Lal Bahadur Shastri National
Academy of Administration, Mussoorie and Indian Institute of Public Administration, New

During the year 2004-05, three Capacity Building Workshops on Citizens
Charters were organized at Uttaranchal Academy of Administration, Nainital, HCM
Rajasthan State Institute of Administration, Jaipur and Assam Administrative Staff
College, Guwahati.
Department-Specific Workshops

The Department also organised 1-day Department-specific workshops with the twin
objective of generating awareness amongst the public as well as employees and
initiating the process of consultation. Furthermore, 13 Department-specific workshops
were organised in the States of Jharkhand, Uttaranchal, Madhya Pradesh and
Maharashtra during the Year 2002-03.

Information and Facilitation Counters (IFCs)

Information and Facilitation Counter (IFC) is a facility set up by selected Central
Government organisations to provide information to citizens about their
programmes/schemes, rules and procedures etc. as well as status of cases/applications.
An IFC also acts as a nodal point for redress of public grievances. The IFC, therefore, is a
physical manifestation of Citizens Charter. Hence, it has now been decided to set up
IFCs in all government ministries/departments having Citizens Charters. 105
Information and Facilitation Counters / May I Help You/Inquiry Counters have been set
up so far.

Evaluation of the functioning of the IFCs was carried out by the DARPG and the
Consumer Coordination Council. The organisations concerned have taken action on
deficiencies pointed out in these evaluations. This Department also regularly monitors
the working of the IFCs through a half-yearly report prescribed for all the organisations
that have set up IFCs.

Problems faced in Implementing the Charters

As pointed out earlier, the Citizens Charters initiative in India had started in 1997 and
most of the Charters formulated thereupon are in a nascent stage of implementation.
Introduction of new concepts is always difficult in any organisation. Introduction and
implementation of the concept of Citizens Charter in the Government of India was much
more difficult due to the old bureaucratic set up/procedures and the rigid attitudes of the
work force. The major obstacles encountered in this initiative were:-

(i)      The general perception of organisations which formulated Citizens Charters was
        that the exercise was to be carried out because there was a direction from above.
        The consultation process was minimal or largely absent. It, thus, became one of
        the routine activities of the organisation and had no focus;
(ii)      For any Charter to succeed the employees responsible for its implementation
        should have proper training and orientation, as commitments of the Charter cannot
        be expected to be delivered by a workforce that is unaware of the spirit and
        content of the Charter. However, in many cases, the concerned staff were not
        adequately trained and sensitised;
(iii)     Sometimes, transfers and reshuffles of concerned officers at the crucial stages of
        formulation/implementation of the Citizens Charter in an organisation severely
        undermined the strategic processes which were put in place and hampered the
        progress of the initiative;
(iv)    Awareness campaigns to educate clients about the Charter were not conducted
(v)       In some cases, the standards/time norms of services mentioned in
        Citizens Charter were either too lax or too tight and were, therefore, unrealistic,
        thereby creating an unfavourable impression on the clients of the Charter;
(vi)     The concept behind the Citizens Charter was not properly understood.
        Information brochures, publicity materials, pamphlets produced earlier
        by the organisations were mistaken for Citizens Charters.
Lessons learnt

The following lessons have been           learnt from the experience of implementing the
Citizens Charter initiative till date:

(i)      As with any new effort, the Citizens Charter initiative is bound to be
        looked at initially with skepticism by bureaucrats as well as citizens.
        Hence, an effective awareness campaign amongst all the stakeholders at the
        initial stage is essential to overcome this skepticism. These awareness campaigns
        should be designed and delivered innovatively and effectively.
(ii)     The issuance of Citizens Charter will not change overnight the mindset
        of the staff and the clients, developed over a period of time. Therefore, regular,
        untiring and persistent efforts are required to bring about attitudinal changes.
(iii)    A new initiative always encounters barriers and misgivings from the staff. There is
        a natural resistance to change, particularly among the cutting-edge staff. Involving
        and consulting them at all the levels of formulation and implementation
        of Citizens Charter will go a long way in overcoming this resistance and will made
        them an equal partner in this exercise.
(iv) Instead of trying to reform all the processes at once and encounter
     massive resistance, it is advisable to break the tasks into small
     components and tackle them one at a time.
(v)       The charter initiative should have a built-in mechanism for monitoring,
        evaluating and reviewing the working of the Charters, preferably
        through an outside agency.

Future Vision: Development of Charter Mark

In 1992, the UK Government introduced Charter Mark, a scheme for recognising and
encouraging excellence in public service. To win a Charter Mark, an organisation has to
demonstrate excellence against the following nine Charter Mark criteria which
correspond to the principles of public service delivery, namely,

        (I)    Performance Standards;
        (ii)    Information and openness;
        (iii)  Choice and Consultation;
        (iv)   Courtesy and helpfulness;
        (v)    Putting things right;
        (vi)   Value for money;
        (vii) User satisfaction;
        (viii) Improvements in service quality; and
        (ix)   Planned improvements and innovations.

In India, the DARPG has identified a professional agency to develop an
appropriate Charter Mark scheme. This scheme will encourage and reward
improvement in public service delivery with reference to the commitments and standards
notified in the Charter. The Charter Mark is proposed to be awarded after due
assessment by an independent panel of judges. This would not only give a sense of
achievement to the organisation to be awarded the Charter Mark, but also promote a
spirit of competitiveness amongst various organisations that have issued Citizens
Charters and generate awareness among citizens. A prototype has been developed by a
professional agency, which         is   in   the   process   of   validation   in   identified

The implementation of Citizens Charter is an on-going exercise. It has to reflect the
extensive and continual changes taking place in the domain of public services.
The Indian Government is committed to serve the citizens in an effective and efficient
manner to not only meet but also to exceed their expectations. The Citizens Charter
initiative is a major step in this direction.


Rationale of a Citizens Charter
A Citizens Charter is the expression of an understanding between citizens and the
provider of a public service with respect to the quantity and quality of services the
former receive in exchange for their taxes. It is essentially about the rights of the public
and the obligations of the public servants.

As public services are funded by citizens, either directly or indirectly through taxes, they
have the right to expect a particular quality of service that is responsive to their needs
and is provided efficiently at a reasonable cost. The Citizens Charter is a written,
voluntary declaration by service providers about service standards, choice, accessibility,
non-discrimination, transparency and accountability. It should be in accordance with the
expectations of citizens. Therefore, it is a useful way of defining for the customers the
nature of service provision and explicit standards of service delivery.
A further rationale for the Charters is to help change the mindset of the public official
from someone with power over the public to someone with the right sense of duty in
spending the public money collected through taxes and in providing citizens with
necessary services.
However, the Citizens Charter should not simply be a document of assurances or a
formula which imposes a uniform pattern on every service. It is meant to be a tool kit of
initiatives and ideas to raise the level of standards and service delivery and increase
public participation, in the most appropriate way. The Charter should be an effective tool
to ensure transparency and accountability and should help deliver good governance if
implemented vigorously by the government departments.

           If successfully implemented, the charter can enable the following:
                   Improved service delivery;
                   Greater responsiveness of officials towards the public; and
                   Greater public satisfaction with services.

Components of a Citizens Charter

These should include:

        (i) Vision and Mission Statement;
        (ii) Details of Business transacted by the Organisation;
        (iii) Details of clients;
        (iv) Details of services provided to each client group;
        (v) Details of grievance redressal mechanism and how to access it; and
        (vi) Expectations from the clients.
Formulation of Citizens Charters: A Road Map

     (i)      Formation of Task Force;
     (ii)      Identification of all Stakeholders and major services to be provided by
     (iii)    Consultation with Clients/Stakeholders/Staff (Primarily at cutting-edge level)
             and their representative associations;
     (iv)    Preparation of Draft Charter
              Circulation for comments/suggestions;
              Modification of Charter to include suggestions;
     (V)     Consideration of the Charter by Core Group;
     (VI)     Modification of Charter by the Ministry/Department on the basis of
             suggestions/observations by the Core Group;
     (VII) Approval by the Minister-in-charge;
     (VIII) Submission of a copy of the charter to the Department of Administrative
           Reforms and Public Grievances;
     (IX)    Formal issue/release of Charter and putting up on website;

     (X)      Sending copies to People’s Representatives and all stakeholders;

     (XI)    Appointment of a Nodal Officer to ensure effective implementation.

Citizens Charters - Model Guidelines

The need for a Citizens Charter arises from the dissatisfaction of the citizen / consumer /
customer with the erstwhile quality of service offered by a public sector organisation.
The following guidelines should therefore be useful:

     i.       To be useful, the Charter must be simple;
     ii.       The Charter must be framed not only by senior experts, but by interaction
             with the cutting edge staff who will finally implement it and with the users
             (individual organisations);
     iii.     Merely announcing the Charter will not change the way we function. It is
             important to create conditions through interaction and training for generating
             a responsive climate;
     iv.      Begin with a statement of the service(s) being offered;
     v.       A mention be made against each service the entitlement of the
             user, service standards and remedies available to the user in case of the
             non-adherence to standards;
     vi.      Procedures/cost/charges should be made available on line/display boards/
             booklets inquiry counters etc at places specified in the Charter;
     vii.     Indicate clearly, that while these are not justifiable, the commitments
             enshrined in the Charter are in the nature of a promise to be fulfilled with
             oneself and with the user;
     viii.    Frame a structure for obtaining feedback and performance audit
             and fix a schedule for reviewing the Charter every six months at least;
     ix.      Separate Charters can be framed for distinct services and for organisations/
             agencies attached or subordinate to a Ministry/Department.

Citizens Charters - General Structure Guidelines
These can be stated as follows:

      i.      A brief statement regarding the services concerned;
      ii.     Public Interface of the service concerned to be addressed (e.g.,
             Reservation, Passenger amenities by Railways, Mail Delivery, Premium
             services by Post etc);
      iii.   Commitment to Standards (Time frame, Quality of service);
      iv.    The Staff            : What to except from them?
                           : Where are they located?
              Keeping citizens informed: What information do they need?
              If things go wrong (remedial measures) :
              What could go wrong; Whom to contact;What to expect to set it right.
              How citizens can help the organisation?

Dos and Don’ts for Implementing the Charters

1    Make haste, slowly.
2    List areas of interface.
3    Phase out areas for introduction of small steps.
4    Involve customer and staff in formulating and implementing them
5     Prepare a Master Plan for formulation and implementation over five years and
     budget for the period.
6    Win consumer confidence with small, highly visible measures.
7    Be responsive to the need for the charters to be evolving in nature
8    Inform the customer of the proposed commitments.
9    Use simple language.
10   Train you staff.
11   Delegate powers.
12   Set up systems for feedback and independent scrutiny.

Don’t merely make haste.

Don’t be unrealistic.

Don’t take on more than you can commit.

Don’t involve only senior officers in their formulation and

Implementation. Don’t rush into an overall package for the whole Ministry/Department/

Don’t promise more than you can deliver.

Don’t look upon it as a one-time exercise, with a final outcome.
Don’t inform the customer unless you are sure of delivering the service.

Don’t use difficult language or jargon.

Don’t leave yourself out.

Don’t centralise.

Don’t continue blindly without regular periodic reassessment of performance.

What Makes a Good Charter?

The elements of a good charter can be said to be:

     i.      Focus on Customer Requirements;

     ii.     Simple Language;

     iii.    Service standards;

     iv.     Effective Remedies;

     v.      Training;

     vi.     Delegation;

     vii.    Feedback Mechanism;

     viii.   Close Monitoring;

     ix.     Periodic Review.

Things to Remember
What Citizens Expect From Government Departments/Service Providers

     i.      Reliability, i.e., consistency in performance;
     ii.     Responsiveness, i.e., timely service;
     iii.    Credibility i.e., having customer interest at heart;
     iv.     Empathy, i.e., attention to customer’s needs;
     v.      Courtesy and care, i.e., physical evidence of willingness to serve.

The six important areas to be covered in every Citizen’s Charter

The Six Principles of Citizen’s Charters:

     i.      Published Standards;
     ii.     Openness and Information;
     iii.    Choice and Consultation;
     iv.     Courtesy and Helpfulness;
        v.         Redress when things go wrong;
        vi.        Value for money;

A                  Model              Format             for           Citizen’s            Charter

1 The Aim/purpose of this charter is to work for better quality in public service
2.(Enumeration of services delivered by the department) We deliver the following
services :-

       a)                          b)                          c)                                d)
3. Our aim is to achieve the following service delivery/quality parameters

Nature of Service                Service Delivery Standard                         Remarks

(Time limit (days/hours/minutes)



4.Availability of Information: Information on the following subjects can be obtained from
our officers listed below

       1. Information        2. Name of the               3. Designation       4. Located
at             5. Telephone/

          relating to
officer                                                                      Fax/e-mail

                           5.   For information outside Office hours, please contact
                                          Availability of prescribed

     Title of the Form                           Fee to be paid                           Whom to




Forms are also available on the worldwide web at www .. (where applicable) and can be
downloaded at
 6. Complaint redressal

Courteous and helpful service will be extended by all the staff. If you have any
complaints to make with respect to the delivery of the above standards you are welcome
to register your complaints with the following officers

         Name                    Designation                Located at




We have also created a website for registering complaints at www You are welcome to
use this facility.

7.     A centralised customer care centre/grievance redressal centre has also been
      established at _____ where you can lodge your complaint.

8.     All complaints will be acknowledged by us within _____ days and final reply on the
      action taken will be communicated within _______ days.

9. Consultation with our users/stakeholders

              We welcome suggestions from our users.
              We conduct ______ polls
              We hold periodical ______ meetings with users/user representatives and if
              you wish to be associated with this please contact _______ at _______.
              Please also enter your details at our website www.. indicating your
              willingness to be available for consultation, survey on the points enlisted in
              the Charter.
10. We seek your co-operation on the following

Citizen’s Charter is a joint effort between us and you to improve the quality of service
provided by us and we request you to help us in the following way (give details relevant
to the departments concerned)



11. Guide Book/Hand Book/Consumer Helpline

We have published a Handbook for the guidance of our customers. Please contact
_______________ Officer for more details.

Our helpline number is ___________

Our customer information centre is located at __________ Phone No.______

Other information


We are committed to constantly revise and improve the services being offered under the



The duties and responsibilities of �Nodal Officers for Citizen�s Charter� in
Central/State            Government       Ministries/Departments/Public      Sector
Undertakings/Organisations for formulation and implementation of Citizen�s Charters
fall in the following categories.

1.     Citizens/Client’s Charter:-
1.1    Citizens/Clients Charter is a document which represents a systematic
      effort to focus on the commitment of the Organisation towards its
      Citizens/Clients in respect of Standard of Services, Information, Choice and
      Consultation, Non-discrimination and Accessibility, Grievances Redress,
      Courtesy and Value for Money. This also includes expectations of the Organisation
      from the Citizen/Client for fulfilling the commitment of the Organisation. (Can this
      be placed be in the introductory chapter)
1.2    A Charter comprises the following components:-
      (i)      Vision and Mission Statement;
      (ii)      Details of Business transacted by the Organisation;
      (iii)     Details of Customers/Clients;
      (iv)      Statement of services provided to each Citizen/Client groupseparately and
              time limits for the same;
      (v)      Details of Grievances Redress Mechanism and how to access the same; and
      (vi)      Expectations from the Citizen/Client

2.     Nodal Officer for Citizens Charter                 for   Central   Government
      Ministries/Departments/Public                                            Sector
2.1    Each Ministry/Department/Public Sector Undertaking/Organisation proposing to
      formulate a Citizens Charter may designate an officer referred to as
      Nodal Officer for Citizens Charter. This officer may preferably be of
      the rank of Joint Secretary or equivalent in Ministry/Department and
      should be selected on the basis of a careful assessment of his/her attitude and
      suitability for the job.

2.2 The Nodal Officer for Citizens Charter shall be actively involved in the
     process of formulation and implementation of Citizens Charter at each and every
     stage.    Each   Ministry/Department/Public     Sector    Undertaking/autonomous
     organisation may formulate a job chart for the Nodal Officer for Citizens Charter
     keeping in view the duties and responsibilities of Nodal Officer for Citizens
     Charter enumerated in subsequent paragraphs.

3.      Duties and Responsibilities of Nodal Officer for Citizens Charter in Central
      I.    Job Title         : Nodal Officer for Citizens Charter
      II.        Responsible to      : Secretary/Head of the Organisation
       The Nodal Officer will be responsible for various activities involved in formulation
      and implementation of Citizens Charter in the Organisations enumerated below:

3.1         Formulation of Citizens Charter

        (a)         Formation of a Task Force in the Organisation to oversee the
                  formulation of the Citizens Charter. The Nodal Officer shall act as a
                  Member Secretary for the Task Force. The composition of the Task Force
                  shall be:-

                   (i)      1 - 2 Representatives from top management;

                   (ii)     2 - 3 Representatives from Middle Management ;
                   (iii)    2 - 3 Representatives from cutting-edge level staff;
                   (iv)     Representatives from Staff Associations/Unions;
                   (v)       2 - 3       Representatives from citizens / clients/ Citizens
                           Associations/NGOs/Consumer Groups.
3.1.1       Duties of Task Force

        (i)         Identification of all stakeholders/clients and services/products
                  provided by the Organisation in consultation with the officers/staff/clients
                  representative etc;
        (ii)        Determining the standards of outputs/services etc. provided by
                  the Organisation in consultation with all stakeholders and officers/Staff
                  etc. (particularly at cutting-edge level);
        (iii)       Preparation of a draft Charter and circulation amongst various
                  clients/stakeholders,       management     levels    and      staff      for
        (iv)        Modification of draft Charter to include suggestions etc;

        (v)         Submission of draft Charter to Department of AR & PG for consideration
                  by the Core Group on Citizens Charter and liaisoning with the Department
                  of AR & PG;
        (vi)         Modification    of    the   draft    Charter    on  the   basis   of
                  suggestions/observations made by the Core Group on Citizens Charter;
        (vii)      Seeking the approval of Minister In-Charge;
        (viii)     Issue/release/publish the Charter in public domain.
3.2     Implementation of Citizens Charter
3.2.1 Ensuring wide publicity of the Charter. Conduct awareness campaigns.
     Putting up the Charter on the Ministry/Department/ Organisations website and
     sending copies to peoples representatives and all stakeholders and their
     representative associations etc.
3.2.2 Organising training programmes, workshops etc. for orientation and
     motivation of officers and staff of the Organisation for aligning the workforce to
     the commitments made in the Charter so as to ensure proper
     implementation of the Charter.
3.3     Monitoring of Citizens Charter
3.3.1 Set up an Integrated Performance Monitoring System and monitor organisation’s
      performance vis-vis commitments made in the Charter on a regular basis
      and keep the Head of the Department informed.
3.3.2 Publish data relating to performance of the organisation vis-vis commitments made
      in the Citizens Charter, in the Annual Report and share with citizens/clients using
      appropriate media.
3.4    Evaluation and Review of Citizens Charter
3.4.1 Arrange for regular evaluation of implementation of Citizens Charter from
     within the organisation(s) as well as from without through assessment of
     the level of satisfaction among citizens/clients. The findings should be
     reported to the Head of the Department/Organisation on a regular basis.
3.4.2 Based on the feedback/assessment/evaluation, necessary steps should be taken
     for review/revision of the Citizens Charter.
3.4.3  It is necessary to ensure that activities related to formulation/implementation of
     Citizens Charter form a part of the Annual Action Plan of the Organisation.
3.4.4 It is also necessary to ensure that all the activities relating to Citizens Charter
     during the year are included in the Annual Reports of the
     Ministry/Department/Organisation concerned.

   4                The State Governments may set up Nodal Officers along similar lines
           for the review and maintaining of Citizens Charter developed for the various
           departments and corporations in their State following the above guidelines.


Need to Evaluate, Monitor and Review

It is critically important that the evaluation system for performance in line with the
Citizens Charter standards is congruent with the departments broader performance
information system. Thus, the standards in the charter should not be different from
those of individual officials as per their job description or as set out in their departmental

Evaluation should take place regularly, ideally quarterly. This should be IT-enabled so
that data can be analysed in real-time and reports on service failure against the charter
standards can be generated automatically.

A practice of self-assessment should be put in place enabling the staff to assess how well
they think they are delivering services. This can be compared with feedback from
customers. The charter mark system is another way to evaluate the citizens charters.
Other forms of evaluation, such as exit polls for user groups and surveys and feedback
forms give a good indication of the quality of services.

External Evaluation of Citizens Charter

A survey may be done with the help of voluntary organizations or by directly distributing
a questionnaire to randomly selected samples of users of the service. It is generally
accepted that about 300 samples in a District and 100 at taluk level are sufficient for
survey at initial stages. Once such surveys become regular, the sample size can be

Check List for Citizens Charter

Given below are select criteria in the form of a check list for policy-makers and
implementing staff alike to enable effective assimilation of fundamentals that must be
part of any Charter document.
General criteria

Charter documents should be written for consumers and must take account of their
needs. They should describe initiatives to provide a quality service. The following aspects
may be examined:

   i.      Is it really for its consumers?

   ii.     Does the title of the Charter document indicate that public services are there to
          serve the individual citizen or consumer and that the Charter is for the consumer?
          For example, the Municipal Charter or the PDS Charter.

   iii.    Does the Charter say that consumers were consulted about its
          a)  If not does it describe how the department will be consulting consumers
             about its Charter initiatives?
          b) Does it cover the issues which matter most to consumers?
          c)   Does it reflect their priorities?

 iv.      Does the Charter invite readers to comment on its form or contents? If so, how?
           a) Does it give an address or telephone number for making comments?
           b) Does it name someone to send comments to?

Does it name names?

Does the Charter promote the principle that providing public services should involve
individual accountability? For example,

               Does it say that staff that is in contact with the public will identify themselves
               (by wearing name-tags for example, or giving their names over the phone or
               in letters)?
               Is it clear about who authorizes the Charter and takes responsibility for it? For
               example, Charters are issued by the Head of the Department or the Secretary
               of the Department concerned.
               Does the Charter give the name, address or telephone numbers of relevant
               officials (e.g., someone to whom consumers can send their comments on the
               charter, like a designated complaints office?)
               Does the Charter contain any other initiatives to make the services more
               personalized? For example, May I help you counters, e-mail, call centres etc.

For whose convenience?

Some Charters promise that the services will be organized for the convenience of the
consumer (rather than the organization). Does the charter contain any other specific
initiatives to make the service more user-friendly? For e.g.:

               Does it extend or adapt office opening hours to suit the convenience of the
               public, and does it promise to do so?
               Often the services provided by one government agency involve other
               agencies. Does the Charter say that a given service provider has negotiated
               with other public services on consumers behalf to ensure they get an agreed
               standard of service?

Does it take account of special needs?
Does the Charter contain a commitment to the principle that public service should be
designed to meet the needs of all current or potential consumers- including individuals
with special needs or concerns such as the old, disabled, children, women?

The obligation to consult

Consulting consumers is essential to developing a quality service. A comprehensive
Charter document will indicate a commitment to consultation. The questions that need to
be considered thus are:
 i.     Does the Charter promote the principle that the public service should consult their
        consumers and use that information to help them better?
 ii.     Does it make any practical commitments to consult consumers and to change the
        service in the light of the views and demands of consumers?
 iii.    Does the Charter promise to publish the results of surveys and other forms of
 iv.     Does the Charter promise to consult consumers in any of the following ways:
        a)     By carrying out independent opinion surveys? (If so, how, when and on what)?
        b)     By consulting relevant consumer or voluntary groups on, or involving them in,
              the design or interpretation of opinion surveys?
        c)     By setting up, supporting resourcing or convening consumer meetings,
              consultation bodies or other advisory groups?
        d)     By appointing or seconding consumers to management bodies?
        e)     By monitoring complaints?
        f)     By consulting MPs, MLAs about the concerns of consumers?
        g)     By consulting staff, especially those in regular contact with consumers, about
              consumers concerns?
        h)     By consulting local councilors about the concerns of consumers?
        i)     By consulting other relevant government agencies or organizations which may
              have information about the concerns of consumers?

The obligation to inform and be accountable

Does the Charter promote the principle that public service should provide information
for, and make themselves accountable to, their consumers? If so, what do they do about

Practicing what it preaches
             How readable and user-friendly is the Charter document? For example,
        a) Is it easy to handle?
        b) Is it well laid out?
        c) Does it have enough headings and are they relevant?
        d) If it is more than a few pages long, does it have a table of contents?
        e) Does it have an index, if not would one have been helpful?
        f) Does it have a readable type size?
        g) Is it written in plain language?
             Does the Charter tell consumers how to have a say in the way the service is
             provided or how to participate in formal consultation process?
             Does the Charter explain how to complain?
How the service is working
All Charters say something about how the public service is going about its business.
Charters may provide information ranging from ideals which are not necessarily
achievable- at least in the short term to practical information about the standard of
service consumers have a right to expect. This section of the checklist covers the various
ways is which Charters can and do account for how the services are working.

         Does the Charter describe the services the organization provides?
         In general, to what extent does the charter provide information about how the
           service is working?

Long-term plans, aspirations and service philosophy
Does the Charter describe the department’s or agency’s long-term plans and aspirations?
Does it describe the department’s or agency’s service philosophy? For example We are
committed to achieving these high standards of service through a professional, efficient
and quality service, which provides prompt and accurate help and information which is
clear and accessible.

Monitoring and reporting performance

Charter documents often seek also to tell readers how well the department or agency
has been working. They can only do this if the organization has been monitoring its own
performance for some time. Some charters, however are only able to promise that they
are about to start monitoring and reporting their performance.

It is also important to know answers to the following questions:

 i.     Does the Charter promise that the department or agency will monitor how well it is
        performing and report this to its users?
 ii.     Which particular aspects of the service’s performance were chosen for monitoring
        and why? How will they be monitored and how will the results be published?
 iii.    Does the Charter say how performance is to be monitored (if at all)? For example
        (a) in-house;
        (b) by some other independent organization (like a market research company), (c)
        by User Organisations;
 iv. Does it say how regularly performance is to be monitored (e.g., half yearly,
 v. Does it say which aspects of the services performance are monitored and the result
    reported? (for instance, how long it takes to process a claim, the quality of drinking
    water supplied);
 vi. Does it say why those aspects of the services performance were chosen? For
      (a) This information has always been collected by us,
      (b) They are the only readily available measurable aspects of the service;
 vii. Does it say how and where the service will report its performance to the public
      (e.g., in posters, at the office or the Press, Radio, TV etc.);
 viii. Does the Charter say whether performance is getting better or worse (for example,
      by comparing this year’s performance with last year’s);
 ix.     Does the Charter set or promise to set specific standards for the level of service
        consumers can expect?
     x.     If so, how and why were these set? For example, (a) are they new standards,
           based on the level of service consumers expect; (b) are they the same at last
           year’s; or (c) are they based on last year’s but with the standard raised?
     xi.     Does each standard or target apply to the individual user or consumer? (For
           example, a standard that is meaningful to an individual consumer might say that
           the service processes each individual claim within 21 days.

Rights and guarantees
It is one thing to set a performance standard or target for, say, how long consumers
have to wait for a claim to be processed. Consumers will want to know if they have a
right to that level of service and what happens if the standard is not met.

A set standard should be enforceable. A mere target may be a level of service the
organization hopes to achieve but cannot guarantee. To what extent does the Charter
guarantee that consumers will receive specific standards of service, or state that they
have a right to that level of service?

The obligation to provide redress
Virtually all Charters involve a commitment to put things right if they go wrong. The
main way they do so is by promising a proper procedure for dealing with complaints in
the first place. Some, but not all, charters also promise to provide a specific remedy,
such as cash compensation, when things go wrong.
Complaint Procedures
i.          Does the Charter say that is has established, or soon will establish a procedure for
           dealing with complaints?
ii.         If so, does the complaints procedure contain the following features?
iii.        Does it say that consumers can complain informally to any member of staff with
           whom they have contact, and that they will try to resolve the problem on the spot.
iv.         Does it say that consumers can make a formal complaint?
v.          Does it say that there is a complaints officer, give his or her name and explain
           how to make contact?
vi.         Does it guarantee that a full investigation of a complaint will be carried out and a
           full reply provided?
vii.        Does it specify target times within which they will:
             (a) acknowledge the complaint,
             (b) provide a full response; or
             (c) give an interim reply, explaining by when a full response will be provided.
viii.        Does it set out a procedure by which, if consumers are dissatisfied with the initial
           response, they can take the matter further?
ix.         To what extent is the complaints procedure, or any stage in that procedure,
           independent? (e.g., some organizations set up an independent complaints officer or
x.          If there are separate procedures for dealing with different types of complaints
           (such as complaints about medical negligence as distinct from complaints about
           hospital food) does it explain this clearly? Does it explain how to make such
xi.         Does it insist or imply that all formal complaints must be in writing? Or does it
           allow complaints to be made in person or over the telephone?
xii.        Does it invite consumers to make constructive comments and suggestions in
           addition to complaints and does it suggest how to do so?
xiii.       Does it say that if consumers are dissatisfied with the organization’s complaints
           procedure, there are external and fully independent avenues for taking the
       complaint further, such as Lok Adalat, Ombudsman, and Regulatory Commission
       and so on?
xiv.    Does the Charter tell consumers how to get independent advice on, or assistance
       with, their complaint (for instance, from a consumer group or felicitation counter

Compensation and other remedies

A Charter needs to specify the circumstances in which it will provide redress or
compensation or other remedies if things go wrong?

A Citizens Charter can be assessed or ranked on a scale of 1 to 100 by examining the
different components of the Charter. One of the ways has been illustrated as follows:

Citizens Charters Assessment Parameters

             Charter in General

           * Title

           * Context (Preamble/Background)

           * Covers core and critical areas

          * Initiatives

           * Takes account of special needs

            Sub Total

             Obligation to Consult

           * Mechanism of feedback on forms and contents

           * Consult in future

           * Methods of Consultation

            Sub Total
 Obligation to Inform

* Specifies names of relevant officials

* Seeking further information

* Monitoring and Reporting performance

 Sub Total

 Setting of Standards

* Fixing time limits

* Targets and standards of service

* Rights and guarantees

 Sub Total

   Obligation to Provide Redress & be Accountable

* Complaints procedure

* Compensation or Remedies

 Sub Total

  Overall Assessment

Charter in General

Obligation to Consult
         Obligation to Inform

         Setting of Standards

          Obligation to Provide redress & be accountable


           Total Marks

Evaluation, Monitoring and Review of Charters : A Summary
i.    Evaluation must be both internal and external;
ii.   Evaluation and monitoring are necessary for improving standards of services;
iii.  Regular evaluation and monitoring of the performance standards builds confidence
     among the users of the service and standards may be made more acceptable;
iv. Evaluation can be quarterly, half-yearly or yearly. Evaluation must be done at least
     once in a year;
v. Evaluation report must be widely publicized within and outside the organization;
vi. Evaluation enables process review and re-engineering of services provided by
     Government Departments;
vii. Evaluation and monitoring is better done through computerization and online access
     of information to the top management to help decision making;
viii. Evaluation must provide a reward system for services of staff who provide excellent

External Evaluation has the following advantages
i.     Improves transparency;
ii. Validates Internal Evaluation;
iii. Helps comparison with International Standards;
iv. Makes known customer expectations;
v. Helps in fixing correct user charges and to measure willingness to pay;
vi. It can be undertaken by involving NGOs, professional bodies, consumer activists,
      academic bodies, research institutions etc.;
vii. Voluntary channel for external evaluation can also include newspaper columns as
viii. An appropriate Report Card system can be developed.

Evaluation- Review
i.    Sound Evaluation should lead to retraining of staff;
ii. Annual revision of standards through internal and external evaluation is desirable;
iii. For owning citizens charter, a reward system must be put in place;
iv. Annual reports of organization must cover implementation of citizens charter;
v. Implementation of citizens charters to be part of staff appraisal systems;
vi. Commitment of Government to citizens to better standards of service delivery must
     be visible;
vii. Government reviews of public utility must be on the basis of implementation of
     citizens charter;
viii. Involving an external agency for rating of Public Utilities is appropriate from the
     point of view of Good Governance.

Charter Mark
The Charter Mark System was adopted in U.K. to evaluate and reward departments
offering best service in keeping with their Citizens Charters. The following eight criteria
are taken into account and marks are awarded to each aspect to decide the best
performance. These criteria are:
  i. Standards;
  ii. Information and Openness;
  iii. Choice and Helpfulness;
  iv. Putting Things Right;
  v. Value for Money;
  vi. Customer Satisfaction;
  vii. Measurable Improvements in Quality of Services;
  viii. Innovative Enhancement of Services at no Additional Cost.

                          V EFFECTIVE COMPLAINTS HANDLING

Customer complaints are one of the most available and yet underutilized sources of
consumer and market information; as such. They can become the foundation for an
organization/departments quality and service recovery programmes. In simplest terms,
a complaint is a statement about expectations that have not been met. It is also, and
perhaps more importantly, an opportunity for an organization to satisfy a dissatisfied
customer by fixing a service or product breakdown. In this way, a complaint is a gift
customers give to a business. The organization will benefit from opening this package
carefully and seeing what is inside.

Designing and Implementing Effective Complaints Handling Systems

A complaint system should:

i.     Be easily accessible and well publicized;
ii.     Be simple to understand and use;
iii.    Be speedy, with established time limits for action and keeping people informed of
iv.     Be fair, comprehensive and impartial in its investigation;
v.       Be confidential, to maintain the confidentiality of both the staff and the
vi.   Be informative, providing information to top management so that services can be
vii. Set out clearly the volume of complaints, broken down by different categories;
viii. Include an analysis of response time;
ix. Inform the complainant of the proposed action.

Without a good complaint redressal system, Citizens Charters have no effect.
Departments should establish highly credible & responsive complaints procedures and
redressal systems.

         Most dissatisfied customers do not complain. The average business does not
          hear from 96% of its unhappy customers;
         For every complaint received there will be another many times more customers
          with problems, and some of these problems will be serious;
          Complaints may not be registered not because people think it’s not worth the
           time and effort; but because they may not know how or where to complain, or
           they may believe that the department would be indifferent to them.

Before anyone can make a complaint, one needs to have certain information. This
includes rights and responsibilities. People should be told not only what their rights are
as receivers of public service, but also know their responsibilities. This can be done best
through a clear statement provided in the Citizen’s Charter.

Basic Steps for Effective Complaints Management
          i. Acknowledge complaints;
          ii. Designate a location to receive complaints;
          iii. Develop a system for record keeping;
          iv. Process and record complaints;
          v. Investigate and analyze the complaints;
          vi. Keep the customer informed of the progress;
          vii. Periodically analyze the complaints and improve the process.

 Feedback can be sought in the following ways:

          Over-the-counter at the service outlets;
          By toll-free telephone number/telephone/fax;
          By post;
          By community/consumer organizations;
          Through constituting consultative committees;

Redress Options
A recommended menu of redress options could be:
i.   An apology;
ii. An explanation;
iii.Assurance that the same thing will not happen again, backed up by action and
iv. Action taken to put things right;
v. Financial compensation.

Publishing Complaints Information
i.      Publishing complaints information is in line with the principle of general public
       service accountability and transparency;
ii.     It demonstrates to the public that complaints are taken seriously and it is
       worthwhile to complain.

The department must publish information on complaints received at least on a yearly
basis and should include:
          Numbers and types/categories of complaints;
          Speed of response to the complaints received;
          Action taken as a result of complaints to improve services.

Organisations must decide for themselves the level of detail to be recorded about
complaints received, but minimum data should include:

          Name, address and telephone number of the complainant;
          Date of receipt;
       Details of the complaint, subject or issue;
       What redress the person wants;
       Immediate action to be taken on the complaint.
Information about complaints should be submitted to the senior officers and policy
makers on a regular basis.

How to Complain?
This means giving names, addresses and phone numbers of the members of staff or
secretaries to contact with any complaint. Time targets for responding should be stated

           Acknowledging complaints;
           Responding to complaints;
           Keeping people informed if the response target can not be met and explaining
          the reasons for the same;
          The possible outcome - the information should state what redress people can
          expect when they have a complaint.

The Role of I.T. : Computerization of Data
Information Technology has given an added feature to the way in which information can
be stored in government departments. The data on complaints is stored with ease and
can be accessed comfortably without tedious record maintenance. The database
becomes accessible to every level of the administration and redress is also possible more
effectively and quickly. It becomes convenient to record and track complaints and
produce reports on complaint redressal. This also enables measurement of customer
satisfaction through analysis of questionnaires generated amongst users.

Reviewing Complainants
Complainants should have the opportunity to have their complaint reviewed if they are
dissatisfied with response. Each department should determine the best arrangement to
suit that position. Government departments should make it easy for the public to lodge
complaints. They could do this by:

       Leaflets and posters;
       The media radio, T.V. local press;
       Telephone directory;
       Contact Help lines, i.e., Telephone numbers.

People will only complain if they feel that the organization listens to their complaints and
acts on them. They will not do so if they think that it will not bring any result. These
organizations must make it clear to the public that complaints are welcomed and that
information will be used to improve services.

Another crucial aspect is fear among users. Having no other alternative, the users might
feel that the department might discontinue their services or harass in other ways. People
may not complain if they fear that the service will somehow single them out for
harassment and punish them for complaining. This is particularly true, if the relationship
between the user and the service puts the user in a potentially vulnerable position e.g.
electricity, water, telephones etc.

Handling Complaints within the Organization:
Each department should have procedures on dealing with complaints which are clearly
understood and followed by the staff. The procedures should be simple and enable
speedy solutions to the complaint received.

Changing Attitudes

If a complaint system is to be effective, simply having procedures may not be enough. It
is important that staff have the right attitude towards complaints. This involves

            Listening sympathetically to people who have felt a cause to complain;
            Recognizing that complaints handling is an integral part both of good service
            and customer care and not a nuisance;
            Understanding the benefits of good complaints handling and consequences of
            poor complaints handling and welcome complaints as an opportunity;
            Putting things right for the citizen and to learn the lesson and improve service.

In this context, the eight step Gift Formula devised by Janelle Barlow and Claus Moller
is extremely useful. The Gift Formula is a step-by-step process that, in its optimal form,
is delivered in a set order. It may be noted however, that, there might be occasions
when it will be more appropriate to vary the sequence. The steps are as follows:

i.      Say Thank you;
ii.     Explain why you appreciate the complaint;
iii.    Apologize for mistake(s);
iv.     Promise to do something about the problem immediately;
v.      Ask for necessary information;
vi.     Correct the mistake promptly;
vii.    Check customer satisfaction;
viii.   Prevent future mistakes.

Say Thank you. Do not think about whether customers have a legitimate complaint or
not. Just consider the complaint valuable information and thank them for the gift. The
expression should be as natural and spontaneous as the gratitude shown when receiving
a gift/present. It must be made sure that the body language demonstrates appreciation
for the complaint and that the service provider supports the customer’s right to
complain. Eye contact, an understanding nod, and a friendly smile can work wonders.

Explain why you appreciate the complaint. Thank you by itself can sound empty. You
need to qualify it by saying something about how hearing the complaint will allow you to
better address the problem.

Apologize for the mistake. It is important to apologize to customers, but it should not be
the first step. You create a more powerful rapport with customers by saying, Thank you,
I appreciate your telling me about this. Then comes the apology.

Promise to do something about the problem immediately. Once you have apologized, do
not ask for anything else right away. Do not start to interview the customer. Service
recovery has two aspects: psychological and tangible. The psychological dimension helps
everyone feel better about the situation that has created dissatisfaction. The tangible
dimension is doing something to fix the situation. Tangible responses are steps that will
cost money or time. Steps one through four of the Gift Formula are part of the
psychological response; they cost nothing and are easy to implement.
Ask for necessary information. In order for me to give you fast service, could you please
give me some information? Do not say, I need some information, otherwise I can’t help
you, you are the one asking for help from the customers. They are the ones who have
brought you the gift. Ask only for what is necessary. But ask for all relevant details as by
questioning, you will discover the real problem. Sometimes they only want to let you
know something happened; they don’t necessarily want anything from you.

Correct the mistake promptly. Do what you said you would do. A sense of urgency will
be greatly appreciated by the customer. Rapid responses say you are serious about
service recovery. A sense of urgency lets you get back in balance with the customer. The
Gift Formula will not be adequate if you do not fix the problems to the customer’s

Check customer satisfaction. Follow up. Call your customers back to find out what
happened. Ask them directly if they are satisfied with what you did for them. If
appropriate, tell them what you are doing to prevent this from happening in the future
so that they feel good about having helped you with their complaints. Thank them again
for your complaints. You are now in partnership.

Prevent future mistakes. Make the complaint known throughout the organization so this
kind of problem can be prevented in the future. Fix the system without rushing to blame
the staff. Punish your processes, not your people. Staff members will be more likely to
pass along complaints to management if they know this is the company’s approach to

Complaints systems are unlikely to be fully effective if they are not supported and
supervised at higher levels. Senior officials should regularly review complaints
information and ensure that complaints handling is built into all performance reports of
the department. Each department may consider putting up on a display board their
PLEDGE to welcome complaints.


An integral aspect of administrative reforms both in the short term and in the longer
perspective is related to the speedy and easy access of information to the public on the
services and activities of Government and the development of an appropriate
Management Information System in Government. There are considerable delays
in redressal of grievances and securing access to information, since Government
departments with a public service interface do not have a mechanism to provide
information to the citizens across the counter or to deal with their queries and
complaints at a single point.

The Government of India has decided that all offices of the Government and agencies
under it should have a computerized public interface, aimed at dissemination of
information to the public for a fee or free of charge. The Central Government Ministries
and their agencies should take steps to ensure the provision of all unclassified
information on procedures and decisions to the public through facilitation
counters which should be set up near the Reception Hall of the Ministry, offices
etc. similar to the Lakhina model in Maharashtra. These counters would be operated
continuously during the day by trained officials with courteous approach, with the
capacity to converse in English and the local language and capable of using
computers. These counters can be provided with computer consoles to provide instant
information on the status of pending cases, waiting lists, etc. and also print out permits
and licenses across the counter wherever possible.

So far 105 Ministries/Departments/Organizations have set up IFCs/May I Help
You/Enquiry Counters. These Ministries/Departments/Organizations have designated a
senior officer as Contact Officer who is overall in-charge of the IFC and can be contacted
in case of any difficulty or feedback.

Salient Features

Provide information regarding services, schemes and procedure through
brochures, booklets, reports etc. Provide information regarding position of waiting lists
and applications through computer screens updated every day and through
computerized query to Departmental data base.

Provide information regarding such matters as bill payments, registrations,
land/house allotment etc. over the phone or personally to the public.

Forms which are to be utilized for various procedures should be available at the
Facilitation Centre, even if the processing is to be done elsewhere.

Receive complaints, issue acknowledgment slips indicating the section dealing with the

A sufficiently Senior Officer is to man the Facilitation Centres with appropriate
orientation, capable of speaking English and local language for handling
customers and knowledge of use of computers. Time limits and other details should be
notified through display boards at the Facilitation Centres for completion of
various procedures and for disposal of cases.
Ensure easy accessibility to Facilitation Centres for the average citizen through publicity
regarding the location and hours of access. It will also be helpful to utilise the Interactive
Voice System where feasible for enquiry response.

Duties and responsibilities of the Contact Officers of IFCs

The Contact Officer of the Information and Facilitation Counter is the overall in charge of
the unit and is the link between the IFC and the mother organisation. He/She has to
assess the information needs of the clients, create the corresponding supporting system
at IFC, arrange for the posting of suitable personnel and also to motivate them for the
assigned job. Therefore, it is imperative that a senior level officer not below the rank of
Deputy Secretary, Director should be nominated as the Contact Officer and he/she
should be reporting to the Head of the Department directly.

Their duties and responsibilities as Contact Officer, in addition to the duties and
responsibilities of the post that he/she is holding, would be as follows:-

(A)      Planning
(i)      The Contact Officer will act as a link between the IFC and the mother organisation
        and project the role of IFC before the senior management.
(ii)      He/She will identify the clients/prospective visitors of the organisation
        and assess their information needs/possible queries, initially on the basis of
        substantive functions of the organisation and subsequently on the basis of analysis
        of the visitors’ queries.
(iii) He/She will plan, visualize and install the supporting system, the source
     of information, flow of information to and from the IFC, the space/layout and other
     infrastructure required at the counter.
(iv) He/She will take steps to create public awareness about existence of IFC
     through adequate publicity.

(B)     Organizing
As an organizer, the role of the Contact Officer will be:
(i)    To assess the manpower requirement with job profiles, to identify
     suitable personnel, preferably the willing ones, for IFC and to arrange their
(ii)    To provide proper orientation and motivation to the personnel by
     clarifying the importance of their work at the IFC and its importance in building the
     image of the organisation;
(iii)     To identify the training needs of the functionaries at IFC and arrange suitable
        training programmes in behavioural skills, computer operation and other areas of
(iv)      To ensure availability of necessary tools like computer with printer, telephone
        line (internal as well as external), photocopier etc. basic amenities like
        drinking water/toilet facilities, proper sitting space for visitors, connectivity
        within the organization through Local Area Network (LAN);
(v)      To install proper feedback mechanism through visitors’ register/suggestion box
        and inviting suggestions from NGOs etc.
(vi)    To ensure proper signage indications for easy access to the IFC.

(C)   Controlling
The Contact Officer will be controller of the IFC mechanism and his role in the capacity
     would be as under:-
(i)     To ensure upkeep and tidiness at the counter.
(ii)      To ensure punctuality and discipline among the personnel.
(iii)      To ensure availability of relevant information material like Annual
         Report, brochures of schemes, projects of the organisation, periodicals,
         booklets, Citizens Charter, Departmental Telephone Directory, list of officers
         dealing with substantive functions along with their Telephone Nos., copies of
         departmental instructions, list of priced publications along with the details of
         outlets, applications forms of public usage etc.
(iv)        To ensure that IFC is included in the organisation’s mailing list and all the
         circulars etc. on policy changes of general interests are sent to it.
(v)       To attend to the day- to- day problems/personal needs of the staff.
(vi)      To ensure timely submission of periodical reports/returns by IFC to DARPG.

(D)    Supervising
The Contact Officer will perform the following functions in the capacity of the supervising
(i)       Keeping track of complaints/grievances,
(ii)      To scrutinize the visitor’s register every week.
(iii)  To analyze the suggestions/feedback received through the suggestion box or
     visitors register and initiate corrective action.
(iv) To conduct surprise/periodical visits at the counter to see the mannerism
     and behaviour of the personnel manning IFC.
(v)        To ensure that the telephone queries are being attended to with
         courtesy and their record is being maintained.
(vi)    To see that the names and telephone No. of Director of Grievances and the
      Contact Officer are displayed prominently.
(vii) To arrange visits of the senior officers to the counter.
(viii) To arrange annual O&M inspection of the IFC.
(ix)   To arrange for wide and regular publicity of the IFC in the media.

To Make the Citizens Charters a success the following are needed:-
i.   A Sense of urgency;
ii.  Ownership of the Charter by the Head of the Department and the entire staff;
iii. At the State level, a committee headed by the Chief Minister should be constituted
    to oversee the implementation and progress of the Citizens Charters;
iv. Constant interaction with the stakeholders;
v.   Motivating the staff and performance review of the staff based on the criteria
    outlined in the charter.
vi. Taking corrective measures;
vii. Simplification of procedures and systems;
viii. Reducing hierarchy, decentralization.

Citizens Charters should be seen as:-
i.   A partnership between people and the Government;
ii. Citizens Charter is not just a concept, but a programme of action;
iii. They are a part of democratic reforms;
iv.     Citizens Charters give people orientation and customer focus;
v.       Citizens Charters are a pro-active approach to good governance;
vi.       Political parties, administrators, and even judiciary must encourage Citizens
The key to success lies in:-
i.    Creating guarantees and redress policies;
ii.    Building service standards into the performance management system of the
iii. Publicizing and comparing performance against the standards;
iv. Creating awards for meeting tough customer service standards.

Lessons Learnt in Quality Assurance from Examples Worldwide

i.      Involve customers in the creation of guarantees, standards, redress
       policies, complaint systems, and customer service agreements.
        This is necessary to know what is important to the customer. It is prudent not to
       assume what the customer wants. Customer surveys are useful here, but face-to-
       face contact with customers is even more important. Customer councils and different
       types of customer voice tools can be used for this.

ii.     Educate customers about the services that an organisation provides, so
       they will have realistic notions of what is possible and will understand their
       own responsibilities.
        Often services won’t work unless customers uphold their end of the deal. e.g., tax
       agencies can’t send speedy refunds if taxpayers don’t fill out their returns completely
       and accurately. Permit offices cannot process permits rapidly if developers hide
       information from them. In cases like these, add customer (or complier)
       responsibilities to the service standards and guarantees and publicise the same.

iii.    Keep pressure on from outside the organization to create meaningful
       guarantees, standards, redress policies and complaint systems.
        Most organizations won’t be able to accomplish both setting meaningful standards
       and fulfilling the same. They will only do it until the leader who drove it moves on.
       Thus there is a need for some external force that keeps the pressure on forever.
       Another good method is a customer council or board with real powers.

iv.      Create an outside review process to approve guarantees, standards,
       redress policies, complaint systems, and the performance measurement
       processes associated with them.
        Just as there is need for outside pressure, there is also need for an external body to
       review and approve standards, redress policies, and the rest. Otherwise, vague
       standards that cannot be measured and have no means of redress attached .We will
       do our best to provide timely courteous service should be the norm. The review
       process should involve both customers (ideally through a customer council or board)
       and a neutral reinvention office such as the Charter Unit in UK. In the UK, the Labour
       Government required all departments to review their charters at least once every
       two years, whereas the Cabinet Office has set up an audit system to check on the
       quality of charters and intervene when necessary.

v.      Publicize your standards, guarantees, redress policies, complaint systems,
       and results.
        If people don’t know about these policies, they will have far less effect than they
       should. E.g. the U.S. Postal Service has publicized its first-class-on-time delivery
       standards (three days within the continental U.S., one day locally) and reported
       quarterly on its performance. The results have generated front-page newspaper
       stories, creating useful urgency within top management.

        The postal service, however, was found to be rather silent about another standard.
       You will receive service at post office counters within five minutes. If one looks hard
      next time one goes into a post office, they may find a tiny, 4-inch by 5-inch sign
      announcing the standard. But they might have probably never noticed it. As a result,
      it is meaningless to the customer. Nor does it seem to have any impact on employee
      behaviour, (as found by observations made). It is, sadly, a wasted opportunity to
      win over the public.

vi.    Involve frontline employees in creating standards and other tools and in
      figuring out how to meet them to help them buy in.
        If standards and redress policies are simply imposed on employees, few will
      respond to the challenge. The British also learned this lesson. Their review pointed
      out that frontline employee had often been ignored in the past. The governments
      guide, How to Draw up a National Charter, added, They are the people who will have
      to deliver the standards in your charter, and they are often well placed to offer
      practical suggestions for improvements, and to identify people or organizations to be

vii. Empower frontline staff to make decisions.
     When organizations fail to deliver the quality of service that they have promised or
    when customers have legitimate complaints, the frontline staff needs to be able to
    make it right, immediately. If you have to wait three weeks for management to
    make a decision, you will alienate your customers.

viii. Use standards, guarantees, complaints, and customer councils to redesign,
     reengineer, and restructure.
       There is only so much improvement you can produce by changing attitudes and
      getting employees to work harder. If customer quality assurance don’t lend to
      reengineering work processes and restructuring organizations, then it won’t be worth
      using. Customer-driven agencies typically organize around customers’ needs and
      organizational functions. They create single points contact for customers, one-stop
      services, and integrated work teams to handle all of a customer’s needs.

ix.    Study other organizations including private companies, to see how you
      might rethink, redesign, and reengineer.
       Studying the best in business gets the organisation out of the box. It just opens up
      this whole world that you never even contemplated might be there.

x.     Back up your quality assurance approach with training, mentoring, learning
      networks and other support for employees.
        To improve customer service, your employees will need much more than smile
      training. They will need new skills, the ability to do customer surveys and focus
      groups; the ability to analyse, improve, and redesign work processes; the ability to
      build teams. There is a need to support them with training, expert consultants - even
      mentoring, learning networks and site visits.
xi.     Don’t create a separate unit to do this; integrate customer quality
      assurance into your strategic and performance management systems.
       If a separate unit is created to handle service guarantees and standards, redress
      policies, and complaint procedures, then the line operations will see these things as
      headquarters agenda, not their own. They may go through the motions, to comply,
      but they won’t build their own work around customer service. There may be a need
      for a reinvention office to catalyse action, but development of standards and the like
      should be done by line organizations with review by a reinvention office and
      customers. Standards must become an integral part of the strategic and
   performance management systems, like any other outcome goals and performance
   targets. It must not be treated as something separate from one’s performance goals.
xii. Make sure your leadership is seriously committed.
    To succeed, a commitment from the organisation’s leaders including the top civil
   servants is a must.
Citizens Charter :A Trouble-Shooting Guide

Nature of Problem

Limited awareness of the Charter among the public

Poor or inadequate consultations with stakeholders and lack of citizen involvement
throughout the Charter cycle

Poor service delivery standards and under-performance

Inadequate feedback from citizens about quality of service, limiting the impact of the

        Absence of a planned approach to publicity
        Limited training and stakeholder involvement

        Charter treated as one among the many initiatives
        Bureaucratic style of functioning
        No systematic identification of stakeholders
        Lack of citizen friendly approach and absence of avenues for the stakeholders to
       interact or give feedback
        Poor complaint redressal systems
        Poor systems in place
        Outdated processes
        Staff not trained properly
       Lack of transparency
       Communication failure
       Absence of systems to give feedback
       Lack of credibility and lack of confidence in the system
       A holistic approach to publicity through press, electronic media and user
       Meet the citizen programmes by the departments
       Change in the behaviour of the officers and staff through coaching, training and
       incentive systems
       Creating customer friendly environment in the offices
       Improved accessibility of officers and staff
       Training of staff at all levels
       Decentralization and delegation of authority
       Technology upgradation
       Process review and restructuring
       Customer confidence building measures sharing information and reports with
       users of the service
       Consultation committees. Welcoming negative feedback and removing fear from
       customers. Assurance that information from feedback will be used to improve


The Union Ministry Personnel Public Grievances and Pensions in its efforts to provide
more responsive and citizen-friendly governance coordinated the efforts to formulate and
operationalise Citizens Charters. The States of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat became the
most active participants to this concept by incorporating the charter in many
departments and local bodies. The two case studies given below provide a cue to the
increasing adherence to citizen-friendly governance in both these states. The case study
of Regional Transport Department, Hyderabad, has been documented in a study done on
Citizens Charters by the Indian Express. The case study on Jan Sewa Kendras in
Vadodara and Ahmedabad has been documented by the General Administration
Department, Government of Gujarat.

Regional Transport Office, Hyderabad
The Regional Transport Offices have developed and implemented their Citizens Charters
that commit efficient service delivery as per standards specified. A sample of the service
standards specified in the Citizens Charter is given in the table below:

 Item of work                          Fees & Service Charges
 Targeted/Response time
    Driving licence

 Learner’s licence                  Rs. 60                                Same day

Fresh driving licence               Rs. 390                               Same day

    Registration of new vehicles

  2-wheeler                           Rs. 160                               Same day

  4-wheeler                           Rs. 400                               Same day
        Issue/renewal of fitness certificate

      Three wheelers                      Rs. 230                        Same day

      Light motor vehicles                 Rs. 360                       Same day

      Medium motor vehicles                Rs. 460                       Same day

       Heavy motor vehicles                Rs. 560                       Same day

 Issue of duplicate registration


      Invalid carriages                    Rs. 110                       2 hours

      Motorcycles                          Rs. 130                       2 hours

      Light motor vehicles                 Rs. 300                       2 hours

        Transfer of ownership

      Invalid carriages                    Rs. 110                       Same day

       Motorcycles                         Rs. 130                       Same day

      Light motor vehicles                 Rs. 300                       Same day


        of hire purchase in the RC

      Motorcycle                           Rs. 200                       Same day

       Light motor vehicles                    Rs. 300                     Same

In addition, the RTO has taken up a number of initiatives for citizen-friendly
administration. These include:

i.        Simplification of procedures for registration and licensing;
ii.       Automation of services under the Fully Automated Services of Transport
         Department FAST aimed at providing all transport department services
         through a comprehensive and networked solution;
iii.    Unit Offices headed by Motor Vehicle Inspectors have been created in the
       districts for work pertaining to new registration and licensing for decentralized
       service delivery nearer to the public;
iv.     Integrated check      posts to provide checking facility to transport
       operators at one       single point to avoid unnecessary delay and
v.      Ease of availability of forms and application a token system has been introduced
       for orderly receipt and disposal of application;
vi.     Public assistance cells/help desks in every office to guide and assist in
       filling the forms and furnishing information about procedures;
vii.    Suggestion/Complaints boxes in every office in prescribed format.

Evaluation by the Media

A survey carried out by The Indian Express Hyderabad covering applicants for licenses,
transfer certificates and fitness certificate applicants highlights the improved service
delivery by the Officers of the R.T.O.

The findings of the survey brought forth the conclusion that: There has been
considerable improvement in the functioning of the Regional Transport Authority,
though the time taken for processing and issue of certificates is not in accordance with
the commitment made in the Citizens Charter, it has become faster than the
earlier duration. The role of touts though not totally eradicated, has been minimised.
There was widespread appreciation, specifically among parents about the measures
being implemented by the department to check the condition of school buses. The
department officials have become more responsive while attending to complaints and
grievances. The response to enquiries, both online and telephonic, was comparatively
prompt. Unlike in the past, the processing and procedures have been simplified. The
department has become more transparent.

Jan Sewa Kendra, Ahmedabad

The District Collectorate of Ahmedabad is a fine example of an administrative entity that
has made a successful attempt to reengineer processes for better service delivery by
using Citizens Charters and Jan Sewa Kendras.

In February 2004, the district administration of Ahmedabad standardised the entire
Citizens Charter of the district which consisted of 75 issues ranging from land matters,
issue of licenses and certificates, public distribution system, widow pension etc. All
issues of the Citizens Charter were arranged in a concise and simple application format
mentioning legal provisions, officers responsible for taking decisions, enclosures and
annexures expected from the citizens, number of days required for disposal at each
stage in the Collectorate and its subordinate offices etc. This simplified the range of
services to be delivered by the district administration and established the basic
standards for service delivery.

A parallel initiative was launched to reengineer the processes and standardize the
application and query formats which facilitated the opening of a civic center, called Jan
Sewa Kendra, for e-Governance with Citizens Charter as the main focus of service
delivery. The concept of Jan Sewa Kendras was initiated by the Vadodara Collectorate in
May 2003 as part of one-day governance programme aimed at fast track issuance (same
day) of certificates and affidavits, in the district and Taluk headquarters.

The main objectives of the Jan Seva Kendra are as follows:
           To bring transparency and speediness in administration through smooth
           To provide self-explanatory citizen friendly standardized formats of applications for all
           issues of the citizen charter and make them available online at Jan Seva
           Kendra and Taluka and Pranth headquarter.
           To implement One-day Governance in issuing certificates and affidavits.
           To provide re-engineering of internal process and procedures with attitudinal
           change and higher motivational levels of employees.

The software used in the Jan Seva Kendra has been specially designed to include
standardized citizen friendly and informative formats for all the 75 issues of the
Collectorate citizen charter. It provides on the spot disposal of certain cases, online
tracking of applications and grievances by citizens, information of the provisions
related to every issue and the minimum number of days in which the application will be
disposed off. The standardized formats are so designed that a citizen can fill it up
himself without seeking the help of touts or middlemen. Each application is
transmitted online to the concerned department of the Collectorate and is monitored
online by the district headquarter, sub-divisional and the Taluka headquarters. Related
internal improvements such as level jumping, query formats, coding of applications etc.
have also been done. 50% data entry operators in the Jan Seva Kendra are persons
from the physically disabled category. The Jan Seva Kendra hopes to become a one-stop
location for all citizens, catering to effective implementation and monitoring of the
citizens charter and quick disposal of grievances.

The benefits that have accrued from the implementation of citizens charters and the Jan
Sewa Kendras pertain to better service delivery, quicker turnaround time, reduced
interface of citizens with government officials and better productivity.

The state has accepted the public private partnership model of the Vadodara and
Ahmedabad Jan Sewa Kendras for replication in other districts. Jan Sewa Kendras are
already functional in 15 district headquarters and 122 Taluks. The government intends to
cover all districts and Taluks by the end of the financial year. All the centres in the State
have been prescribed a uniform logo and design. The services/facilities to be provided by
these centres are to on the same pattern throughout the State.

The main lesson to be learnt is that improving service delivery cannot be achieved in a
simplistic manner. The Citizens Charter and e-Governance can become successful tools
of better service delivery only if it is accompanied by a complete overhaul of internal
procedures/processes/systems/file movements and attitudinal change. Therefore, each
time e-governance is introduced, it must not be done in a hurry, but time must be taken
to see that the systems and people are made compatible with the speed, transparency
and precision that accompany it.

Bureaucratic Transformation: A Case Study of the UK Passport Office

Britain followed an aggressive unbundling-the-state during the 1980s and 1990s. A
transformation was engineered in the British civil service via scrutiny exercises, financial
management initiative, formation of executive agencies, and the proclamation of citizens
charters. An interesting example of this transformation was the British passport service.

Before 1991, the passport services were provided by the Passport Office, known for its
slow and uncommunicative service and a somewhat remote and austere image. It
processed over 3.5 million passports a year and handled thousands of enquiries. In 1998
the passport service was computerized and in 1991 the Passport Office was turned into
an executive agency called the Passport Agency.
The Passport Agency had two main targets, namely, improved customer service and
improved financial performance. For instance, the 1993-94 target was to process
applications in 20 working days or less during the peak demand period, and 10 working
days during the rest of the year. In 1993-94 the agency targeted 3% reduction in overall
cash operating unit cost. There were other concrete targets relating to time to respond
to letters and waiting time for customers in passport offices in Britain. The agency
mostly was able to meet the targets.

During the 1990s a number of steps were taken to improve the functioning of this
service agency:

i.       It identified several key areas for improvement, such as service to customers by
       post, over the phone, during personal visits; customer satisfaction; detection of
       passport fraud; wastage; efficiency as measured by passports per staff member;
       and financial performance. Concrete targets in each of these areas were specified
       in the agencys annual corporate plan sent by the agency to the relevant
       government minister for approval;

ii.     Performance against targets was monitored through reports generated by the
       agencys management information system. The reports were reviewed by the head
       of operations with the heads of individual passport offices. Regular monthly
       meetings were held between the head of operations and regional managers, and an
       operations manager was appointed in each office to ensure that the office met its
       targets and standards;

iii.    Regular customer opinion surveys were conducted. For instance, in the early
       1990s, 50,000 customer survey questionnaires were issued. The return indicated a
       very high level of satisfaction. Such surveys were also made by regional passport

iv.     Many actions were taken to improve customer service. These included name
       badges for frontline staff, standard clothing for counter staff, much better reception
       and other services, special facilities for people with disabilities, improvement in
       telephone enquiry service, and comprehensive customer-care training for frontline
       staff. In the mid-1990s an effective complaints redressal procedure was being
       developed, and a panel of passport users was being set up to advise the agency on
       service-related issues;

v.      The agency invested considerably in effective human resource management.
       Personnel management responsibilities were developed in regional offices, and
       training in the offices was spurred by the appointment of training officers.
       Managers in each office were familiarized with production management techniques
       through training courses. A house journal was started to improve communications.

It is remarkable what a flurry of changes and innovations could be institutionalized in the
Passport Office in just three or four years after it underwent a status change from a
department of the government to an excellent agency with two clear mandates; improve
financial performance, and serve the citizen/customer better.

A weak service is a major and frequent bane of most government organizations,
particularly monopoly organizations. The Citizens Charter movement in Britain sought to
attack this disability frontally.

Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Chennai

The Citizens Charter of the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board was
issued, with the approval of the Government of Tamil Nadu on 16th April, 1998. With a
view to ensuring that the assurances given in the Citizens Charter are adhered to by the
Board, a Consumer Committee named Metrowater Citizens Charter Review and
Consumer Service Committee headed by and comprising leading consumer
activists as members was formed. The composition of the Committee is as under:-

        (a)      Chairman - One of the leading activists in Public and Consumer Affairs
                who has played an active role in public grievances redressal or social work;
        (b)      Vice-Chairman - The Executive Director of the Board and Convener
         (c)     Members -

                           Six    members       drafted    from     Consumer       Forums/Non-
                           Governmental/Social/Service Organisations.
                           Three    Official   Members     from    among      Area     Engineers
                           (representing North, South and Central Chennai circles of the Board).
The Committee has the following functions:-

(i)             To discuss, deliberate upon and review the subjects connected with
               Citizens Charter and public grievances redressal system and issue
               necessary guidelines/instructions to ensure adherence to the same.
(ii)             To identify the problems of the officials/consumers in implementing
               the Citizens Charter and give suitable advice in overcoming it.
(iii)            To identify the lapses, if any, in adherence to the Citizens Charter and advice
               remedial suitable action.
(iv)     To identify the new items to be included in the Citizens Charter or any
       existing items to be deleted from the Citizens Charter to make the document an
       ideal one to suit public requirements.
(v)      Any other subjects connected therewith and entrusted to them by the Board.
The Committee was initially set up for a period of one year. Its tenure, however, has
been extended on a year to year basis. One of the findings of the Committee was that
98.5% of the services of the Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board have been
in conformity with the declared standards given in the Citizens Charter. Hence, the
Committee advised that in view of the higher capabilities of the Board, certain standards
could be further raised. Accordingly, the Board brought out a modified Citizens Charter in
the year 2000 assuring that it would perform and render its services as per the
commitments and well within the prescribed time limits.

Other practices initiated by the Board include:-

(i)             Open House Meetings in all area offices and depot offices on all second
               Saturdays of the month with representatives of voluntary organizations,
               consumer action groups, resident associations and other interested
               groups / members of the general public concerned. These meetings have helped
               the Board to establish more informal contacts with its consumers and have
               enabled the Board to identify lapses, if any, in adherence to the commitments
               given in the Charter.

(ii)             Weekly reports on adherence to standards committed in the Charter
               are being reviewed by the Managing Director and also published in the Cheithi
               Madal, an in-house journal of the Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board
               which is being supplied to NGOs/ Councils and other stakeholders.

(iii)            Information and Facilitation Counters have been opened in the Area Offices
               where an Area Information and Facilitation Officer (AIFO) has been posted to
               ensure that the members of the public/customers visiting the area offices get
               assistance for various services at one counter itself. A register is maintained at
               the reception with the following columns:-
                               Receptionist Register/Information Cell Register

      Sl.         Date        Time         Name        Purpose Details            Information   Follow up
                                               Initial of Weekly

  No.                                & Address        of the       Queries       transferred
action             the         Scrutiny

                                     of the Visitor    Visit       O&M/             to
AIFO              by

                                         Phone No.
others                                                          Area

any                                                         Engineer

            1            2           3           4             5             6             7
                                            8           9            10

                Citizens Charter in all Municipalities/Corporations in Tamil Nadu

The Government of Tamil Nadu and Commissionerate of Municipal
Administration have formulated Citizens Charter for urban local bodies. The Charter of
each local body provides that if grievances are not redressed in time as stipulated in the
Charter, citizens are entitled to bring it to the notice of the officers concerned and also to
the Commissionerate whose telephone numbers have been indicated in the Charter.
Instructions are also issued to all the Executive Authorities of Corporations for collecting
a fine of Rs.50/- per day per job from the staff concerned of the Corporation and given
to the affected public concerned (for example, for delayed issue of licence /

Citizens Charter of Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board

The Charter brought out by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage
Board is unique as it has incorporated a provision on payment of compensation as a
token of commitment to its customers in the event of failure to provide services within
the stipulated time norms, e.g.,:-

According to the Charter, new water supply and sewerage connections are supposed to
be sanctioned or rejected within a period of 30 working days, and in the event of failure
to issue sanction order within 30 working days, the customer will be paid a token
amount of Rs.20/- and will be issued a fresh date of not more than 15 days hence. If the
Board fails to provide the response even within the extended time, the customer will
again be paid Rs.20/- and the Managing Director (Technical) of the Board will personally
meet such customer to explain the reasons for delay.

                             IX LIST OF WEBSITES & SUGGESTED READINGS

National Sites

To refer to Citizens Charters of various Ministries/Departments/Organisations of
Government of India and State Governments please check the sites mentioned below: charter/html


        Inducing Client Focus in Bureaucracy
        The Citizens Charters in India
        Aravinda K. Sharma & Indu Sharma, Indian Institute of , New Delhi 2002
        Reports on Implementation of Citizens Charters
        Consumer Co-ordination Council, New Delhi, 1989, 1997, 1998

International Sites

Online Readings

Customer Focus

1.    A Glossary of Customer Service Terms, produced by the Institute of Customer
     Service as part of the Awards procedure, that may be helpful for anyone involved
     with this area is available at:

2.    Information relating to the topics related to customer feedback/satisfaction can be
     downloaded from the OPSR website at

3.    The following link provides an example of a central government policy document
     produced by the HM Land Registry:

The Customer Service Toolkit

1.   Australia

2.   Canada
     The Canadian Government has been working to enhance customer focus through its
     Citizens First initiatives. Links to useful sources of information relating to these are
     listed below:

3.   Service Improvement Toolkit - Toolbox

Case Studies

Service Standards
 Examples standards/literature/literaturetb_e.asp

Literature Search

     Guidance on how to develop service standards and case studies

     A Compendium of Service Standards

United States

     Information about the work undertaken to enhance customer focus amongst
     American public sector organisations in the late 1990s is available at:

     Information relating to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) used by
     both government agencies and companies to compare their performance is available

Customer Relationship Management

The above link provides information on:

            clarifying what CRM means in the public sector;
            explaining how and when to exploit CRM;
            implementing CRM in local government; and
           explaining how CRM fits in with other elements of e-government.

Customer Satisfaction
   Managing Expectations

           Satisfaction with public services: A Discussion Paper, the Performance and
           Innovation Unit.

Available at:

           Customer-focused Government     from policy to delivery, the Public Services
           Productivity Panel.

   Available at:

Can’t get no satisfaction? Using a gap approach to measure service quality�, Accounts
Commission for Scotland, June 2000.

This can be downloaded from:


A list of useful tips to bear in mind when developing customer surveys and 75 Painful
Questions About Your Customer Satisfaction.

Available at:

Complaint Handling
A list of Golden Rules of Complaint Handling developed by Trading Standards in South

Available at:

Guidance on handling complaints produced by the NHS.

Available at:


Charter Mark

   The Charter Mark website provides those in public service with a self-assessment
   toolkit, information on the benefits of Charter Mark accreditation for both
   organisations and their customers, and the Charter Mark Holder’s Directory.

Benchmarking Information
     National Audit Office

            Using call centres to deliver public services, Report by the Comptroller and
            Auditor General, HC 134 Session 2002-2003, 11th December 2002.
     This  is   available      at:

                                       APPENDIX 1

                             Citizens Charter: An Action Guide

               Sl. No.                              Action Areas        Completion Dates
1       Display of the Charter at the entrance of all offices.
2       Display of information board at all offices of the Department.
3        Wearing of name badges by all staff and particularly by those at the service
       delivery counters.
4       Specific time slots to be allotted to receive and settle consumer grievances at the
5        The Charter size to be standardised to a booklet of half of A/4 size. Titles to
       appear        in     font     size    14       and      matter    in     font     size
6       Local language translations of the Charter to be made available to the public.
7        All employees dealing with the public to have a copy of the Charter readily
8       Stakeholder Meetings to be held at least once in two months and minutes of the
       meeting               to           be             made           and             acted
9        Presentation of Annual Performance Report to the user groups by the Senior
10      Charter to be revised with enhanced service delivery standards periodically (say
       once in a year).
11      Exit polls to be conducted to measure service satisfaction levels of the users.
12       Charter awareness drive to be taken up by mentioning the existence of the
       Charter on the output-stationery printed for the users of the service/services.
13.      Citizens Charter Advisory Committees to be formed with stakeholders in each
14       MIS on service delivery parameters mentioned in the Citizens Charters and a
       periodical      review.    Such    information      to   be    shared     with    user
15       Complaint Boxes and Suggestion Boxes to be kept at all offices. Complaints/
       Suggestions                                      to                                 be
16      Charter to be put on the website of the department. Complaints to be received
       through               websites            of            the           department/call
17      Call centres to be used for receiving complaints and for providing information to
       the citizens.
18       A comprehensive list of neighbourhood groups, consumer associations, mahila
       mandals, citizens groups, ward welfare associations, etc., to be maintained in all
       offices for periodical interaction and consultations with the public. Through press
       notification individuals interested in participating in such meetings to be
19      Identification of training needs:
          a) Cutting Edge Staff; b) Middle Management; c) Senior Management.
20         Identification of a Nodal Officer for Citizens Charter work in the department.
21         Availability of officers to the public during a fixed time slot.
22         Provision for login and logout date and time to be made in the computer system
          for forms/documents/applications received by the department for processing/issue
          of certificates/licenses.
23          Citizens Feedback forms to be kept at the service delivery
          counters. Feedback received to be analysed for corrective action.
          Feedback through Call Centres/ Website/e-mail/Telephone to be

                                        APPENDIX 2

A Model Citizens Charter Feedback Form for use by Departments

Your Suggestions and Comments are Important to us

Department                      :

Address                     :

Telephone Number            :

e-Mail                      :

We are committed to give you good service and also constantly improve our services.
However, at times our best intentions and efforts may not be good enough.

Your feedback will help us in our efforts.

We thank you for your response.         (Please tick mark on your choice)

1. Overall, how do you rate our service?

     a) Excellent     b) Very good    c) Good     d) Fair   e) Poor

2. How do you rate our service delivery standards in the Citizens Charter?

     a) Excellent     b) Very good    c) Good     d) Fair   e) Poor

3. Against these standards how did we perform?

     a) Excellent     b) Very good    c) Good    d) Fair    e) Poor

4. How do you rate the service standard at MAY I HELP YOU counters?

     a) Excellent     b) Very good   c) Good     d) Fair    e) Poor

5.    How do you rate our billing and accounts service?

     a) Excellent     b) Very good   c) Good     d) Fair    e) Poor

6.    How do you rate the staff in respect of:

     i)   Courtesy:
     a) Excellent      b) Very good   c) Good    d) Fair       e) Poor

     ii) Promptness:

     a) Excellent           b) Very good     c) Good       d) Fair   e)   Poor

7.   Please provide positive or negative feedback on the staff manning the counters

(Please mention their names and designations)

If you have comments or suggestions, please send them to the address below:


         Your Name

         Telephone No. and e-Mail

         Address of the Department:

                                           APPENDIX 3

                                Citizens Charter Score Card

Has your Department published a Charter? Does your Department have a Charter?

This is a self-score card for you. Are the following happening? Be self critical and fair.

This is not just a Score Card. It is also a Route Map.

Ask the following questions:

1.   Where are you now? (on a scale of 0 to 100)

2.   Where do you want to go?

3.   How will you do it? And when will you do it? What will you do?

4.   Where do you want to reach? (on a scale of 0 to 100)

5.   When will you reach? (Time frame)

                                           APPENDIX 4

                                  Citizens Charter Survey

                           A Model Form for Conducting a Survey

                    Name of the Citizen
              Address                                                            Department &

1.      Purpose of the visit to the Department:-

2.      Kindly indicate you general impression of the Department/Office

      S. No    Details                                       Excellent       Good        Average
                                            Poor        Very Poor

                                                1      Neatness &
                                     2    Courteous & Citizen Friendly

     3. Are you aware of Citizens Charter of the Department?                             Yes/No

     4. Is Citizens Charter displayed at the Department/Office (Tick appropriately)

  Not seen               Displayed          Displayed               Displayed but              Any

                                                             prominently            not very

5.      Did you receive service as mentioned in the Charter of the Department?

         (Standards and time frame)                                                            Yes/No

6.      How do you rate the service rendered by the Department

           Excellent                 Good                Average                Poor                 Very

7.      Is there a Helpdesk at the Office?                                                     Yes/No
8.      If yes, did you approach the Helpdesk?                                                 Yes/No
9.      How do you rate the Helpdesk/May I Help You Counter?

           Excellent                 Good                Average                Poor                 Very

10.     Was your problem/grievance solved/redressed?

        Yes                          No             Still pending         Not
11.    Mention the number of days or time taken by the department to solve/redress
      your problem/ grievance?

12.    What is your overall rating of the Department on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the
      lowest and 10 being the highest) please tick your reply in the box

      a) 1 and 2               b) 3 to 5        c) 6             d) 7       e) 8     f)
      9      g)

                                 Pre Citizens Charter Era

                                     1.    Bureaucratic
2.    People Oriented
3.    Citizen uncared for; Indifferent treatment; Discourtesy.

                                4.   Staff driven/Rules driven
5.    Low or no priority for customer service and customer satisfaction.
                          6.     Officers/Staff not accessible

7.    No standards; No accountability; Vague or unquantifiable standards.

8.    No transparency; Information hidden from public.
9.    Secrecy; Discretion; Favouritism; Corruption.
10. Indifferent to customer/Citizens complaints; Delay in redressal.
   11. Promise and promises

Post Citizens Charter Era

Citizen Centric

People Oriented

Courtesy; Helpful service; welcome reception.

Citizen focused and Citizen driven

High priority for customer service and customer satisfaction.

Officers/Staff easily accessible and willing to listen.

Well defined standards of service clear and measurable. Publication of performance
against these standards.

Information shared with public

Transparent systems
Good complaints processing system. Compensation to citizens for deficiency in

Concrete steps

                                             APPENDIX 3

                                  Citizens Charter Score Card

Has your Department published a Charter? Does your Department have a Charter?

This is a self-score card for you. Are the following happening? Be self critical and fair.

This is not just a Score Card. It is also a Route Map.

Ask the following questions:

1.    Where are you now? (on a scale of 0 to 100)

2.    Where do you want to go?

3.    How will you do it? And when will you do it? What will you do?

4.    Where do you want to reach? (on a scale of 0 to 100)

5.    When will you reach? (Time frame)

                                             APPENDIX 4

                                      Citizens Charter Survey

                             A Model Form for Conducting a Survey

                       Name of the Citizen

              Address                                                    Department &

1.      Purpose of the visit to the Department:-

2.      Kindly indicate you general impression of the Department/Office

      S. No    Details                                 Excellent       Good    Average
                                        Poor      Very Poor

                                             1   Neatness &
                                  2     Courteous & Citizen Friendly

     3. Are you aware of Citizens Charter of the Department?                   Yes/No

     4. Is Citizens Charter displayed at the Department/Office (Tick appropriately)
  Not seen           Displayed          Displayed             Displayed but              Any

                                                        prominently           not very

5.    Did you receive service as mentioned in the Charter of the Department?

      (Standards and time frame)                                                          Yes/No

6.    How do you rate the service rendered by the Department

         Excellent               Good               Average               Poor                 Very

7.    Is there a Helpdesk at the Office?                                                 Yes/No
8.    If yes, did you approach the Helpdesk?                                             Yes/No
9.    How do you rate the Helpdesk/May I Help You Counter?

         Excellent               Good               Average               Poor                 Very

10.   Was your problem/grievance solved/redressed?

        Yes                      No           Still pending         Not

11.    Mention the number of days or time taken by the department to solve/redress
      your problem/ grievance?

12.    What is your overall rating of the Department on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the
      lowest and 10 being the highest) please tick your reply in the box

      a) 1 and 2            b) 3 to 5            c) 6           d) 7               e) 8            f)
      9      g) 10

                             Citizens Charters A Handbook

                          A Publication of the Government of India
                   Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions

              Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances

                                     New Delhi, India

                                    GOOD GOVERNANCE

                   Transparency + Accountability + Citizen Friendliness

Citizens Charter

                           Good Governance is the Technology

                                Citizens Charter is the Tool

                                    MINISTER OF STATE FOR


                                 AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS

                                       GOVT. OF INDIA


      The Handbook on Citizens Charter, brought out by the Department of Administrative
Reforms and Public grievances lucidly explains various aspects of Citizens Charters and
details initiatives taken by the Government of India, State Governments and UT
Administrations in formulation and implementation of Citizens Charters. The Handbook, is
intended to, serve as a guide in formulation and implementation of Citizens Charter and other
citizen-centric initiatives, to Organizations under the Central Government, the State
Governments and the Union Territory Administrations. The Handbook, would also prove
useful for training institutes in devising suitable training modules for capacity building of
Government employees in this crucial area.
      I wish the endeavour a success.

      with regards,

                                  (SURESH PACHOURI)

    102, North Block, New Delhi - 110001 Phone : 23092475/3901 Fax : 23092716

I     The Citizens Charters: Indian Experience

     Basic Concept, Origin and Principles

     The International Scene

     The Indian Scene

     Comprehensive Website on Citizens Charter

     Exemplary Implementation of the Citizens Charter

     Evaluation of Citizens Charter

     Compendium on Citizens Charters in Government of India

     Regional Seminars

     Capacity-Building Workshops

     Department-Specific Workshops

     Information and Facilitation Counters (IFCs)

     Problems faced in Implementing the Charters

     Lessons Learnt

     Future Vision: Development of Charter Mark
II     Formulation of Citizens Charter

       Rationale of a Citizens Charter

       Components of a Citizens Charter

       Formulation of Citizens Charters: A Road Map

       Citizens Charters Model Guidelines

       Citizens Charters General Structure Guidelines

       Do’s and Don’ts for Implementing the Charters

       What Makes a Good Charters

       Things to Remember

       A Model Format for Citizens

III     Duties and Responsibilities of Nodal Officers

       Duties and Responsibilities of Nodal Officers of Citizens Charter

       in Central/State Governments /Ministries/Departments/Public Sector

       Undertakings/Organisations for Formulation and Implementation

       of Citizens Charters

IV    Evaluation and Review of Citizens Charters

       Need to Evaluate, Monitor and Review

       External Evaluation of Citizens Charter

       Check List for Citizens Charter

       Citizens Charter Assessment Parameters

       Evaluation, Monitoring and Review of Charters A Summary


V     Effective Complaints Handling

        Designing and Implementing Effective Complaints Handling Systems

        Basic Steps for Effective Complaints Management

VI     Information and Facilitation Counters (IFC)


        Salient Features

        Duties and Responsibilities of the Contact Officers of IFCs

VII     How to make the Charters a Success

        Lessons Learned In Quality Assurance from Examples Worldwide

        Citizens Charter A Trouble-Shooting Guide

VIII    Citizens Charters :Some Best Practices

        Regional Transport Office, Hyderabad

        Jan Sewa Kendra, Ahmedabad

        Bureaucratic Transformation: A Case Study of the UK Passport Office

        Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Chennai

        Citizens Charter in all Municipalities/Corporations in Tamil Nadu

        Citizens Charter of Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and


IX     List of Websites and Suggested Readings

        National Sites


        International Sites

        Online Readings

       Appendix 1        Citizens Charter: An Action Guide
Appendix 2   A Model Citizens Charter

             Feedback Form for Use by Departments
Appendix 3   Citizens Charter Score Card
Appendix 4   Citizens Charter Survey A Model Form for
              Conducting a

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